Rishi Sunak has said he has no regrets over putting Suella Braverman back in charge of the Home Office just six days after she resigned over a security breach, insisting the home secretary has learnt from her mistakes.
The comments came in his first public visit as prime minister, to a Croydon hospital where he was confronted by an NHS patient who urged him to “try harder” on nurses’ pay. “It’s a pity you don’t pay them more,” Catherine Poole, a 77-year-old recovering from surgery, told the PM.
Mr Sunak also ditched a Tory leadership campaign pledge to fine patients who miss GP and hospital appointments, backtracking on plans health leaders had warned would “make matters worse”.
He pledged to put “fairness at the heart” of the “difficult decisions” he will take to “fix” the economic “mistakes” made by his party, and insisted it was “right” for him to focus on “depressing” domestic challenges, denying accusations of a “massive failure of climate leadership” by opting not to attend the Cop27 summit.
We’re ending our live political coverage for tonight. Keep checking independent.co.uk for all the latest updates tonight and over the weekend.
Parents want election as they ‘pay the price’ for crashed economy, Starmer says
On a visit to Essex, the Labour leader repeated his call for Rishi Sunak to let voters have their say rather than allow the Conservative government stagger on – under a third leader in three years.
“It’s not just me that wants a general election,” Sir Keir said, speaking from a school in the Tory-held constituency in Thurrock.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports:
Labour leader repeats call for voters to have their say – as Independent petition reaches 450,000
DUP must acknowledge ‘huge amount of damage’ to public faith, says SDLP leader
Colum Eastwood said the DUP need to realise the “huge amount of damage” they have caused to public faith in the institutions over the past year.
“More and more people are losing faith in devolved government and rejecting the status quo and continuing this boycott risks irreparable harm to our institutions that they may not recover from,” the SDLP leader said.
“People here deserve so much than what they have been getting from their politics and the SDLP will keep working towards a better future for everyone on this island.”
John Rentoul: The Top 10 politicians’ doctorates
Is there a doctor in the House? Quite a few, actually, writes John Rentoul.
Thanks to Phil Woodford for starting this one. There is now just one cabinet minister with a PhD: Therese Coffey, who wrote “Structural and reactivity studies of bis(imido) complexes of molybdenum (VI)”, University College London, chemistry, 1998. There were two, but Kwasi Kwarteng (“The political thought of the recoinage crisis of 1695-7”, Cambridge, history, 2000) had to attend to other business.
Is there a doctor in the House? Quite a few, actually
NI ‘left in limbo’ after Heaton-Harris ‘U-turn’ on Assembly election
Michelle O’Neill has accused Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris of performing a “U-turn”, after he failed to name a date for an Assembly election despite promising to call a poll.
Speaking in Belfast, the Sinn Fein vice-president said that people in Northern Ireland are now “left in limbo”.
She told reporters: “Today, he is doing a bizarre u-turn, one of which he obviously communicated to the media in advance of speaking to the local parties, from my understanding at least.
“I think just think it is bizarre, it reflects the chaotic nature of the Tories, it is more dysfunction, it is spilling into our politics. But you see for the workers and families tonight and the businesses that are struggling, the people here that are left without an Assembly, an Executive, there is not even a caretaker minister in place and we have a situation tonight where people just don’t know what is going to happen next.”
John Rentoul: Liz Truss is a warning to us all about the danger of overconfidence
The instant histories are already being written that seek to explain the collapse of her premiership after just 49 days, writes John Rentoul.
The instant histories are already being written that seek to explain the collapse of her premiership after just 49 days, writes John Rentoul
Nicola Sturgeon to attend Cop27
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon will attend Cop27 in Egypt, it has been confirmed.
It comes as prime minister Rishi Sunak announced he would not be attending the annual climate conference, citing the need to deal with domestic issues.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “Given the vital importance of governments working together to tackle climate change, it is the first minister’s intention to attend Cop27.
“Details of the ministerial programme are currently being finalised.”
Northern Ireland Assembly election to be called, says government
An election for the Northern Ireland Assembly, which has not functioned since May, will be called, the government has promised without setting a date for the vote.
Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said he will provide more information next week and would be meeting the parties during that period.
“I hear it when the parties say that they really do not want an election at all,” he said.
“But nearly all of them are parties who signed up to the rules, the law. That means I need to call an election so you’ll hear more from me on that particular point next week.”
He added: “I will be calling an election”
Rishi Sunak says he has no regrets over reappointment of Suella Braverman
Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has more on Rishi Sunak’s comments insisting he has no regrets over re-appointing Suella Braverman as home secretary just six days after she resigned over a security breach.
Asked during a visit to Croydon University Hospital whether he regretted the appointment, he told broadcasters: “No, as I have said, she’s accepted her mistake and learned from it, and I’m confident of that.”
“The home secretary has acknowledged the mistake, she’s recognised she made a mistake, she’s taken accountability for that and that’s the right thing.
“Now, as I said in Parliament earlier this week, she raised this topic with me when I discussed reappointing her as home secretary and I’m confident that she’s learned from her mistake.”
Prime minister says Braverman has ‘taken accountability’ by sitting out six days
Bank of England expected to confirm biggest interest rate hike in 33 years
The Bank of England is poised to unveil the biggest hike in interest rates for 33 years next week as the central bank continues its efforts to tame inflation, Henry Saker-Clark reports.
The key Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting comes amid warnings that spending cuts and tax hikes under new prime minister Rishi Sunak could lead to a deeper and more enduring recession.
Most economists think that the MPC is likely to rise interest rates by 0.75 percentage points to 3 per cent at the meeting on Thursday, 3 November.
It will be the eighth consecutive jump in interest rates by the Bank but will represent the biggest increase since 1989.
Most economists think MPC likely to rise interest rates by 0.75 percentage points to 3 per cent
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